Sea, mountains and unique cities: an unmissable itinerary of 7 days in Calabria to discover authentic places and live memorable experiences.

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An unforgettable adventure immersed in the splendid atmosphere of Calabria, in the heart of a land rich in enchanting places and breathtaking landscapes. In this on-the-road itinerary, we’ll explore natural parks and cities rich in art, history and culture, discovering picturesque villages and unspoiled nature.

Day after day, we’ll follow the beautiful coast and hike through mountain trails, crossing enchanted places and savoring the authentic flavors of Calabrian cuisine. Let's embark on an unforgettable journey of 7 days in Calabria, unveiling the secrets of one of Italy's most fascinating regions, in a world of timeless traditions and emotions.

7 days in Calabria, an unforgettable experience exploring an extraordinary land

7 days in Calabria, map

Our journey of 7 days in Calabria starts from Lamezia Terme, precisely from the International Airport where, once landed, we can rent a car and immediately set off to discover the region's most beautiful attractions.

First, we’ll drive along the Tyrrhenian coast, stopping in the charming Tropea, renowned for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, and one of the absolute must-see places in Italy.

Then, on the second day, we’ll continue southward until we reach the fascinating city of Reggio Calabria, framed by the splendid scenery of the Strait of Messina.

After spending a day visiting the most beautiful and significant places in the city, we’ll continue our journey through the Aspromonte National Park, with its breathtaking panoramas and lush forests, until we reach the Ionian coast, in the Siderno and Marina di Gioiosa Ionica area.

From here, we’ll head back up to Crotone, another picturesque city that we’ll explore for an entire day. Finally, for the last leg of our journey, we will leave the coast to immerse ourselves in the stunning and unspoiled nature of the Sila National Park. Once crossed the park, we’ll be back on the Tyrrhenian side to conclude our itinerary by returning to Lamezia.

Rent an E-Bike and explore the Sila National Park

1st stop, let’s start of our journey of 7 days in Calabria: Tropea and the Coast of the Gods,

7 days in Calabria, Tropea

From Lamezia Terme International Airport, it takes less than an hour by car to reach the wonderful town of Tropea, thus officially starting our itinerary of 7 days in Calabria.

Along the way, we can make a brief stop near the town of Pizzo, rich in history and fascinating attractions, including the Church of Piedigrotta, located right on the sea in a particularly scenic location that is not to be missed.

After Pizzo begins the stretch of coast known as Coast of the Gods: as we continue south towards Tropea, we can admire extraordinary landscapes and unique views, accompanied on one side by the clear azure of the sea and on the other by the lush and vibrant green of the inland hills.

Once in Tropea, let’s spend the rest of the day strolling through the charming alleys and craft shops of the historic center, interspersed with colorful cafes and baroque-style buildings.

Let's enjoy a unique panorama from the Belvedere of Piazza del Cannone or from the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Isola, and then descend to the beautiful beach, immersing ourselves in the colors and scents of Tropea's splendid coastline.

We conclude the first of our 7 days in Calabria with a dinner that will introduce us to the flavors of this land, for example, tasting the traditional Fileja (a type of pasta similar to fusilli) with Red Tropea Onion sauce, an excellent product known worldwide for its extraordinary taste.

Furthermore, Tropea offers splendid accommodations where we can spend the night in luxury and relaxation, in charming historical buildings or elegant resorts located in idyllic settings.

2nd stop: heading towards Reggio Calabria

7 days in Calabria, Scilla

We leave behind the stunning Tropea to begin our journey towards Reggio Calabria. Let’s follow the road that runs along the Coast of the Gods until we reach the town of Nicotera, then we have to take the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway near Rosarno to go towards Reggio.

From Rosarno to Reggio Calabria there are just over 60 km, which can be covered in about 45 minutes; but along the way, it's certainly worth stopping in Scilla, an ancient and picturesque village located near the Strait of Messina, renowned as a tourist destination for its beaches, history and cultural heritage.

The village of Scilla has ancient origins, lost in the myths and legends of the Magna Graecia era: it is said that Scilla was a beautiful nymph, of whom the demigod Glauco was desperately in love. However, Scilla did not reciprocate Glauco's love and rejected him. 

In response to her rejection, Glauco sought the help of the sorceress Circe, who transformed Scilla into a sea monster with six heads of dogs, twelve legs and a body composed of long tentacles. Together with Cariddi, a mythical whirlpool located on the other side of the Strait, Scilla became the terror of sailors navigating these waters.

These folkloric stories contribute to creating an aura of charm and mystery in a town where we can visit the imposing Ruffo Castle, located atop a scenic promontory (from which we can admire Sicily and the Aeolian Islands), before stopping for a quick lunch in the alleys of the historic center.

In the afternoon, we explore the ancient part of Scilla and take a stroll along the beautiful beach, enjoying the splendid atmosphere that distinguishes this truly unique place. When we decide to leave, it will take us about half an hour to reach Reggio Calabria, where we’ll stop for the night.

Cross the Strait and discover the attractions of Messina

3rd stop: exploring Reggio Calabria amidst art, history and culture

7 days in Sicilia, Reggio Calabria

Exploring Reggio Calabria means immersing ourselves in the true essence of Calabrian culture, as well as discovering an unparalleled artistic, natural and gastronomic heritage.

For this reason, Reggio deserves an entire day of exploration, starting with the famous and unmissable National Archaeological Museum. Here, we can admire numerous historical artifacts, and above all, the famous Riace Bronzes, two bronze statues dating back to the 5th century BC considered true masterpieces of Greek sculpture.

We spend the entire morning at the museum, then we can stroll along the scenic Lungomare Falcomatà, a beautiful walk of about a kilometer that offers a unique view of the Strait of Messina, with the silhouette of Mount Etna, which on a clear day is visible in the distance.

We leave the Lungomare shortly after passing the Monument to the Fallen, walking along via Valentino and passing the beautiful pedestrian artery of Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi to reach the Aragonese Castle, a historic building, partly collapsed, which today is structured on three floors: from the top, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the city and the Strait.

We exit the castle, return to Corso Garibaldi and follow it until we reach the heart of the center. First, we will find Piazza Italia, a lively space surrounded by splendid buildings and with the monument to the Unification of Italy at its center; then, still walking along Corso Garibaldi, we’ll find ourselves in the small Piazza San Giorgio, where the Church of San Giorgio in Corso, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, is located.

We can spend the rest of the afternoon wandering among the shops in the historic center. In the evening, let’s choose a restaurant offering typical Calabrian cuisine to savor some of the tempting local recipes, such as Fusilli alla Nnuglia or the traditional Frittole.

Visit the Archaeological Museum and admire the Riace Bronzes

4th stop: Pentedattilo and the Aspromonte National Park

7 days in Calabria, Pentedattilo

For the fourth stop of our itinerary of 7 days in Calabria, we leave Reggio heading south along the E90 road. Before reaching Melito di Porto Salvo, we turn left following the signs to reach Pentedattilo, a village located 250 meters above sea level, whose name derives from the characteristic shape of the overlooking mountain, resembling a hand with five fingers.

In the late 1960s, Pentedattilo was declared uninhabitable due to the risk of earthquakes and floods, but later it was redeveloped as a tourist attraction, becoming a "ghost town" with a unique and authentic charm at the foot of the Aspromonte.

Today, we can explore the ruins of the castle, which stands majestically on the summit of Monte Calvario, as well as the ancient streets and abandoned houses of the village, entering a timeless, almost mystical atmosphere, enhanced by a panoramic view that stretches to the Ionian coast, offering a breathtaking and unmissable sight.

After this short detour, we return to the E90 and reach Melito di Porto Salvo. Here we must take the SP3 towards Gambarie, in the heart of the Aspromonte National Park

We’ll thus enter a remote and fascinating area, immersed in an unspoiled and wild environment, where the road winds slowly through lush forests, curves and hairpin bends.

For those who love adventure and nature, the Aspromonte offers an infinite number of hiking trails that cross breathtaking landscapes and spectacular viewpoints, including waterfalls, hidden valleys, and an extraordinary biodiversity both in flora and fauna.

Once we reach the village of Gambarie, where there are also ski resorts, we should consider a couple more hours to reach the Ionian Sea coast near Siderno, an ideal area to stop and conclude today's stage.

5th stop: from Siderno to Crotone along the

7 days in Calabria, Le Castella Castle

From Siderno to Crotone there are about 150 kilometers, which can be covered in about 2 and a half hours by car along the Ionian coast of Calabria.

For much of the journey, we’ll be driving along the "Costa degli Aranci", an area between the Stilaro River to the south and the Tacina River to the north, characterized by the presence of splendid sandy beaches gently merging into the waters of the Ionian Sea.

Among bays, coves and spectacular viewpoints, we continue towards Crotone, passing beach resorts and tourist villages until we reach the junction towards the village of Le Castella (when there will be less than 30 kilometers left to reach Crotone).

In this small hamlet of the municipality of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, we can stop to visit the spectacular Aragonese Castle, a majestic and evocative fortress almost entirely surrounded by the sea.

This ancient structure, whose origin probably dates back to the era of Magna Graecia, offers a breathtaking panorama and is an ideal place to immerse ourselves in the history and culture of the region (free admission).

In addition to the Castle, near Le Castella, we can also explore the Marine Reserve of Capo Rizzuto, a protected area that offers nature lovers the opportunity to discover the rich marine biodiversity of the area.

Finally, about 15 kilometers northeast of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, it's absolutely worth visiting the Archaeological Park of Capo Colonna to admire the remains of an ancient Greek sanctuary, an important place of worship also frequented by Pythagoras, as well as the remains and artifacts of an ancient Roman settlement that later developed in this area.

From the Archaeological Park, it will take us about 20 minutes to reach Crotone, our final stop of the day.

6th stop: history, art and flavors of Crotone

7 days in Calabria, Crotone

A true gem of the Ionian coast of Calabria, Crotone boasts a millenary history that captivates its visitors thanks to its unique charm. Founded in the 8th century BC by the Greeks, it has traversed epochs and civilizations, leaving behind a unique cultural heritage.

We begin our day by strolling through the narrow and picturesque alleys in the heart of the historic center, heading towards the Castello di Carlo V, a striking medieval-era building. Next to the entrance is the Civic Museum, while from what remains of the ancient and imposing ramparts we can enjoy enchanting views of the Ionian Sea.

After exploring the castle, we can continue to the nearby National Archaeological Museum of Crotone, where we will embark on a true journey to discover the city's history and territory. We'll also find interesting artifacts from Capo Colonna.

After a morning immersed in culture, in the afternoon we can head to the Lungomare to enjoy some sun and relaxation, or take a stroll downtown among the shops on Via Vittorio Veneto, between Piazza della Resistenza and Piazza Pitagora.

In the evening, let's conclude the day by savoring the delicacies of Crotonese cuisine, starting with a fresh Mediterranean seafood appetizer and a dish of Pasta alla 'Nduja or Swordfish "alla Ghiotta". Let's finish with a typical dessert, perhaps the famous Calabrian Torrone.

Finally, we can conclude our evening with a walk through the illuminated historic center, enjoying a magical and fascinating atmosphere made of history, art, and special flavors.

7th stop: Sila National Park

7 days in Calabria, Sila National Park

To reach the Tyrrhenian coast from Crotone, thus concluding our itinerary of 7 days in Calabria, we must cross the pristine nature of the Sila National Park.

We follow the signs towards Cosenza and take the E846 road, which will take us to the town of Camigliatello Silano in just over an hour.

Here, we can stop and spend a couple of hours on a bike excursion (comfortable E-Bikes can be rented in the village) or on foot, following the numerous trails in this splendid and green area, immersing ourselves in the territory to admire the local fauna and flora up close.

We can discover the so-called Giganti della Sila (Sila Giants), larch trees over 40 meters tall, or reach the shores of Lake Cecita, a magical place that offers extraordinary views and unparalleled natural beauty, as well as being an ideal location for a picnic.

From Camigliatello Silano, the Treno della Sila (Sila Train) also departs. It’s a historic train that runs on a track inaugurated in the 1950s towards San Nicola Silvana Mansio. This railway route, the highest in Italy, is now structured as a splendid tourist experience. It winds through majestic forests and offers breathtaking views in a timeless atmosphere.

After admiring and appreciating the beautiful territory of the Sila, we continue our journey first towards Cosenza, reachable in less than 40 minutes from Camigliatello, and then to Lamezia Terme (another 45 minutes of travel), where our long and fascinating journey among the artistic, gastronomic and natural beauties of the wonderful Calabria will come to an end, leaving a special and lasting impression in our hearts.

Discover the giant larch trees of Sila

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